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Capeless Hero (T)


The Capeless Hero spends far too much time in the hospital, worrying about whether her patient would be better off with or without his glasses going into surgery. The surgeon will ask why the patient has entered with his glasses on, and although this is not an actual question but a reproach, she has the answer for the patient. Your glasses will help you find your way back to the sentient world when you come around. I’ll keep it with me, here, in my pocket, while you’re in surgery, and I’ll come back with them when you’re in recovery.


The easy part is telling the patient. The hard part is telling the surgeon so his hands don’t jitter. Hands are at their best when they’re not annoyed. But the Capeless Hero will get past that too because surgeon management is nothing compared to time management. In the hospital, time is the Hero’s enemy. The real question is, would she make it back in time to put on the patient’s glasses before he comes around?


Battling doubt is what makes the Capeless Hero who she is but the Hero always makes it. Between rounds. Surgeons. Operating theatres. Slow lifts. She knows the pulse of Lift D as she does her patients’, like the one with the glasses who has been in her ward for two days, the one with the mother who asks too many questions.


When crunch time comes, her timing is perfect. She is back in recovery, back to fit the nasal cannula to normalize the breathing of her patient on morphine, back in time to prepare the post-operative landscape to report the results of the surgery, fulfilling the promise she made to the patient’s mother. The Capeless Hero is there, and there on time, taking out the anesthetized patient’s glasses from her pocket and putting it on his face, just as it was before and just as she said she would, so the patient can come back to the world where his loved ones call.


The surgery went well. The patient is stable. Mission accomplished.


To Aurora Sebastiani in honour of #RespitatoryCareWeek, October 24-30



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